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Discipleship in the New Age I - The Six Stages of Discipleship - Part IV
Stage I - Little Chelaship

This stage is so definitely exoteric that many people have left it far behind. The first indication that a man has reached that stage (from the angle of the Master) comes when the "light flashes out" in some one life; thereby the attention of the Master is attracted to the person. It might be said that the preface to the Master's interest falls into four parts and it is only when all four are found present together and simultaneously that this happens:

  1. The aspirational intent of the man upon the physical plane suddenly succeeds in enabling him to make a soul [714] contact. The moment that that takes place the light in the head is momentarily intensified.
  2. The karmic agitation of the man's life becomes greatly increased and - apart from his own individual karma - he, for the first time, consciously takes part in and shoulders a part of the karma of his group. This dual karmic undertaking sets up a veritable vortex of force in the group aura. This attracts hierarchical attention.
  3. The next point is not so easy to explain or grasp. You have been told that the soul is in deep meditation for the greater part of the cycle of lives of any one individual, and that it is only when a fair measure of personality integration is set up that the soul's attention is drawn away from its own interior considerations and egoic affairs to those of its shadow. When this happens, the egoic group is definitely affected and the Master (upon the same ray as that of the soul concerned) becomes aware of what is esoterically called "a downward gazing soul." On the Path of Discipleship, the ego is all the time consciously aware of the striving personality and there comes a stage when (towards the end of the Path of Evolution) the soul recapitulates the evolutionary processes of involution and evolution. Soul energy descends and personality force ascends and this takes place through a process of conscious descents and ascents. I refer here to the process which is undertaken by the soul under hierarchical impulse, and not to that in which the personality invokes the soul under the desperate need brought about in the lower consciousness by the gradual cessation of desire.
  4. Gradually the antahkarana is built and in this way the "greater Light and the lesser light" are consciously related. A path of light and energy is established or created between these two divine aspects. As time goes on, there appears in the egoic group what is technically known as the "linking light" or the "bridging radiance." This is the Path referred to in The Old Testament as "the path of the just is as a shining light which shineth more and more until the day be with us." In the esoteric [715] books it is referred to in the following terms: "Before a man can tread the path, he must become that path himself."

These four stages have been described in The Old Commentary in the following terms:

"The point of light shines forth. It waxes and it wanes. The point becomes a line through the starting of a vortex and from the center of the whirling force, there comes a voice - invocative and clear.

The One who sits in silent work, alone and unafraid (because the part is not alone and the group is unafraid) looks down, catches the light, reflects the whirling force and hears the voice.

Then from the silent point of power, a Word goes forth: Be still. Be silent. Know that I am God. The needed work will now begin.

Between the Great One and the little striving one, communion is established; the interplay begins; the mind assumes its rightful place. The Path is surely laid."

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